My Little Diversions

The things I love

Banh Mi August 10, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 2:30 pm
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I know it’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I apologize. Time has been flying here and I really have not been doing anything aside from work and sleep.

Anyway, I hope that this recipe makes up for my neglect, at least a little bit.

Last week we had bahn mis for dinner. If you have never had a banh mi, a vietnamese sandwich, I recommend trying one. If you like asian flavors and sandwiches then you can’t really go wrong with this easy recipe.

I know out seems like a lot of ingredients but they all work well together. If you feel like making it spicier you can always add sliced jalapeños.

Bahn Mi:
1 pork loin
1-2 tbsp sweet chili sauce with garlic
2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1/2 tbsp sriracha
Shredded carrots
Cucumber, thinly sliced
Rice wine vinegar
Cilantro
Finely sliced red onion
Mayonnaise
Sriracha
Sweet chili sauce
French baguette or any crusty bread

Place pork loin in dish and coat with next three ingredients.
Cook at 350° for about 25 minutes or until thermometer reaches 156°.
When it’s finished cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile let the carrots and cucumbers soak in the rice vinegar to get a quick pickle.

When pork is finished (and rested) slice in 1/4 in. slices.
Spread mayonnaise, chili sauce and sriracha in baguette (all to taste). Add pork, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro and onion. Top with a squeeze of lime if desired and enjoy!

–Aly

 

Beer Marshmallows July 13, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 11:04 am
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I apologize for being remiss in my postings. Things have been a bit crazy lately and when I had the opportunity to leave town for a couple of days, my blog was the last thing on my mind.

That being said, I found an interesting recipe for beer marshmallows. That’s right, I said beer marshmallows.

I’ll just let that one sink in for a minute…

So, your reaction is probably close to mine when I first read the title of the recipe. Mine went a little something like this: “What! Really? Can that actually taste good? Oh, my gosh, I can make beer s’mores!”

Well, I did finally find the time to make them and they tasted just the way I thought they would. Sweet with a hint of beer. Now I used Bud Light in mine since I didn’t know just how much flavor the beer would impart to the recipe. In actuallity there was not much beer flavor in them. I think would like to try Shock Top’s Raspberry Wheat beer next time though. Also, these might be good with a soda instead of beer. Hmm…Dr. Pepper marshmallows might be pretty tasty.

Anyway, here is the recipe, and picture, courtsey of howsweeteats.com. The only difference between her recipe and mine is that I didn’t cover my marshmallows in chocolate.

Beer Marshmallows
makes one 9 x 13 pan of marshmallows, cut however you desire

3 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (I used Knox)
1 cup cold, flat beer, divided in two
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites or reconstituted powdered egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

To flatten the beer, take the cap off the bottle and leave open overnight, or pour beer into a bowl and whisk vigorously to remove some carbonation. Just make sure it is cold.

Oil a 9 x 13 baking pan (I actually just used Pam) and sprinkle on powdered sugar to cover and coat. Set aside. In the bowl of your electric mixer (a whisk attachment is best), pour 1/2 cup cold beer and 3 1/2 packs of gelatin. Let sit while you make the sugar mixture.

In a large pot combine sugar, remaining beer, syrup and salt (you could probably use a medium pot but my mixtures always boil over the top). Heat over low heat and whisk until sugar is dissolved, about 3-5 minutes. Turn heat up to medium and let sugar come to a boil. It will bubble up so keep your eye on it so it does not overflow. Let it boil for 8-12 minutes, until it reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will appear to be a lightish brown color depending on the beer you use – don’t worry, the marshmallows will still be white.

Once mixture is at 240 degrees F, turn off heat and gently pour it in the mixer over the gelatin with the mixer on low-speed. Once all of the sugar has been added, turn the mixer to high and beat for 6-8 minutes. It should grow in size and be white and fluffy. About 3-4 minutes in, add the egg whites to a separate bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Once stiff peaks are formed, add egg whites and vanilla extract to the sugar/gelatin mixture and beat until just combined.

Pour marshmallow mix into the 9 x 13 pan. It will impossibly sticky, and you will probably not be able to get it all out of the bowl. Get as much as you can, then spray a spatula with non-stick spray and smooth. Dust powdered sugar on top and let sit to firm up for 3-5 hours.

Once firm, turn the pan upside down on a cutting board to release marshmallow rectangle. Cut them into pieces of whatever size you like. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks!

 

I hope you like this recipe and if you decide to make it with a different liquid let me know!

–Aly

 

Ice Cream Bread June 29, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 8:54 am
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So I stumbled across this recipe about a month ago and I could not believe that this bread is only two ingredients. I had to read it over twice just to be sure I didn’t miss anything!

When I made this I used Bunny Tracks ice cream but I’m sure any kind would be just as fantastic. I do think that using an ice cream with chunks is great because you get those little nuggets of sweetness throughout the bread. Other than finding these bits of sugar, the bread is not sweet. It has the sweetness of a scone and is not overly dense.

I have to admit that after making this bread I began to think about the different recipes I can create with self-rise flour. I believe the creations might be endless.

Ice Cream Bread

2 Cups (or 1 pint) Ice Cream, any flavor, softened
1 1/2 cups Self-Rising Flour

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray and flour a 8 x 4 loaf pan.
In a medium bowl mix the ice cream and flour together until just combined.
Scoop into the loaf and and smooth out.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck in the loaf comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it. The bread will not brown so the toothpick test is really best.
Remove from the pan and allow to cool.

I hope you make this easy bread! Let me know what ice cream you use!

–Aly

 

My Holiday Candy Recipes June 26, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 6:41 pm
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So I know it’s been quite a while since my last post but I hope to make up for that today by posting two of my most requested recipes!

Anytime I make Oreo Balls or Tiger Butter I always have people asking me for the recipe for these easy and delicious candies.

I first found out about Oreo Balls from a friend of mine last Christmas. I had to know the recipe because they were truffle-like bites that melted in my mouth. When she told me how easy they were I made sure I included them on my list of holiday candies from then on.

Oreo Balls

1 Package Oreos

1 Package Cream Cheese, room temperature

3/4 Package Melted White Chocolate Almond Bark

Break up the Oreos into a food processor and add cream cheese. Blend until well mixed. Scoop mixture out in small cookie scoop and roll into balls. Place balls on cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour. Coat balls in melted almond bark and let set in fridge. Store in a zip top bag in the fridge.

Tiger butter has been my favorite candy for as long as I can remember and this is so easy to make, anytime I crave it I can have it ready within minutes.

Tiger Butter

1 Package White Chocolate Almond Bark

1 c. Creamy Peanut Butter

1 Package Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Melt almond bark and chocolate chips in separate bowls (make sure to use a bigger bowl for the almond bark). Typically I do this in the microwave because I’m lazy and don’t have to worry about water seizing up the mixture. Add the peanut butter to the almond bark and stir until combined. Pour peanut butter mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip and smooth then pour melted chocolate chips over and swirl the chocolate into the peanut butter. Chill for 30 minutes then break into pieces. Store in zip top bag in the fridge.

I hope you enjoy these incredibly easy candy recipes!

–Aly

 

Captain Morgan’s and Dr. Pepper Glazed Pork Rib Tips June 17, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 8:37 am
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So, the other day I found a recipe for slow cooker ribs that you finish on the grill so they get a nice smoky flavor. Well, when I went to get ribs for the dish I could only find rib tips instead of a rack of ribs, so I went ahead and bought them. To tell you the truth, I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t cook what I wanted but I figured that I could still make them taste great.

Just a couple of days before we decided to make ribs we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings. Now you are probably wondering why this is pertinent and I’ll tell you why. Buffalo Wild Wings has some new, limited time only, sauces and one of them is a Captain Morgan’s sauce. This wing sauce was the inspiration for my rib glaze.

Here are the recipes for the dry rub with the ribs and my Captain Morgan’s glaze. And I’ll apologize now for not measuring anything.

Rib Tips:
3 pounds Rib Tips
Dry Rub

Dry Rub:
Cumin
Brown Sugar
Paprika
Mexican Chili Powder
Cayenne
Salt
Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Mix all ingredients to your taste.

Captain Morgan’s Glaze:
Captain Morgan Rum
1/2 can Dr. Pepper
Apple Cider Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Dried Minced Onion
1 Finely Diced Serrano Pepper
Minced Garlic

Rib Tip Directions:
Coat the rib tips with the rub. Place in slow cooker on low for 5-6 hours. Remove from slow cooker.

Glaze Directions:
Put all ingredients in small saucepan and reduce until flavors concentrate, about 15-20 minutes.

Completing the Ribs:
Heat a grill pan and place rib tips on the pan. Spoon some glaze over the ribs and turn to sear the glaze on the ribs, they will be fall-off-the-bone-tender so don’t worry if they come apart. Repeat searing until you are satisfied with the amount of glaze on the ribs.image

That’s all there is to them. My husband loved the way they tasted and the glaze was a perfect compliment to the ribs. I also think that Jack Daniels would be nice in this glaze instead of Captain Morgan.

I hope you give these recipes a try!

–Aly

 

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Brisket with Navajo Fry Bread Tacos June 9, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 8:48 am
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A couple of days ago I found a recipe for Navajo Fry Bread and I wanted to make it the second I found it. I adore fry bread and I have fond, if not a little vague, memories of puffy circles floating in giant vats of boiling oil at the Albuquerque Fair. Into these skin-meltingly hot cauldrons went, what I naively believed to be, tortilla-like rounds of dough. Little did I know that these “tortillas” were actually food of the gods. The ambrosia that is flour, baking powder, water and salt, mixed together then fried in oil is astounding; but, I digress.

So the real star of the meal, for me, was the fry bread, but my husband loved the brisket more.

Without further ado, here are the recipes:

Dr. Pepper Slow Cooker Brisket

3 lb. brisket
Salt
Ground black pepper
Hot mexican chili powder
Minced garlic
3-4 tbsps. brown sugar
16 oz Dr. Pepper

Rub the brisket with salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic and sugar. Place in slow cooker and pour Dr. Pepper over the brisket. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove from slow cooker and slice into chunks then shred and return to cooker.

Navajo Fry Bread

3 cups AP flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup warm water
Oil for frying

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the warm water. Work the mixture together and kneed lightly. The dough should be soft and moist but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Add a little flour or water, if needed, until you reach the correct consistency. Roll the dough into a log and let the dough rest under a clean kitchen towel for 10 minutes.

Cut into 8 pieces. Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball. Using a rolling pin and more dusting flour, roll the dough into a flat round disk, about 1/5 inch thick.

In a heavy bottomed pot/pan, pour an inch of frying oil in and heat over medium high heat. To test the oil temperature, tear off a tiny piece of dough and toss it into the oil. It should immediately float and be bubbling all around the sides. Individually, fry the dough for 1-2 minutes on each side or until it is golden crispy. Place the finished fry bread on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
This recipe was adapted from food52.

To assemble the tacos you can either place the shredded beef on the fry bread and fold over, like a taco, or cut the bread in half and open it up like a pita. I like an extra bit of barbecue sauce with my tacos so once it is assembled I pour just a bit over the meat.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I did!

–Aly

 

Simple Cheese Danish Recipe May 31, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — mylittlediversions @ 1:40 pm
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So it’s been a little while since I last posted but this easy and delicious cheese danish recipe should make up for my lack of communication.

I found this recipe on a board and decided to try it since it looked so easy. Well, it is just as easy as it looks. I baked this before my husband came home one night and he dug into it immediately after setting foot in the kitchen. The crust puffed up nicely and the filling was creamy and just sweet enough. This recipe is definitely worth keeping for an easy weekend breakfast.

This recipe comes from The Adventures of Kitchen Girl:

Ingredients:
2 cans ready to use refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg white

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13X9-inch baking pan. Lay a pack of crescent rolls in the pan and pinch the openings together. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg together until smooth. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls evenly and then lay the second pack of crescent rolls on top of the cheese mixture and brush with egg white. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the top is golden brown. Top with glaze after cooling for 20 minutes.

Kitchen Notes:
I have made this danish using low fat cream cheese and splenda (sugar substitute) and it was delicious! Also, the amount of filling the original recipe calls for makes a VERY heavily filled danish. I have halved the filling using 1 package of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 whole egg, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and it was very good. If you use the half filling method, bake for closer to 30-35 minutes.

I enjoyed how simple this recipe was and thought it would make a good base for other danishes if you are wanting to experiment.

I hope you like this one as much as I did!

–Aly